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Hewlett-Packard Gains On Earnings

Hewlett-Packard Co. shares gained 2.7 percent Tuesday morning after the computer maker reported third-quarter earnings ahead of analysts' lowered expectations.

The computer equipment and printer manufacturer reported net income of $621 million or 58 cents a share for the period, even with last year's third quarter. The report beat Wall Street's consensus estimate of 54 cents a share.

H-P had warned in July that its third-quarter earnings would be flat or down from the 58 cents recorded in the previous year's quarter.

Revenue for the quarter rose to $11 billion from $10.5 billion in the year-ago period.

Shares of Hewlett-Packard, a member of the Dow Jones Industrial Average, rose 1 1/2 to 56 3/4.

"Despite a difficult business environment and economic weakness in Asia, we managed to record modest growth in revenue and earnings," said Lewis E. Platt, H-P's chairman, president and chief executive officer.

The earnings report could spark some hope in H-P investors. Over the last two years the company has fallen short of expectations several times. "This was a tough quarter, but we did many things that we believe will position us for better performance going forward," said Platt.

Separately, H-P and Canadian Imperial Bank of Commerce announced plans for a joint venture to offer information technology services for businesses in financial processing and electronic commerce.

Written By Barbara C. Costanza